State Capitol News
12:39 pm
Tue June 9, 2009

Senate panel approves guns in restaurants

Phoenix, AZ – A Senate panel voted Monday to let some people bring their guns
into restuarants when they want to get a bite to eat. But the measure may not be that narrow.

Current state law says guns are strictly off limits anywhere
where alcohol is served. Sen. Russell Pearce said that's not
right.

(Like maybe I go, after I go shooting, I'd like to have bacon and
eggs. They may serve a beer someplace in that restaurant. But
it's Denny's. It's not a bar. And I have a right to go in there.
The last thing I want to do is leave a gun in my car so when the
guys steals my car he's armed.)

But the wording of the bill actually could let guns into more
than just what are traditionally seen as restaurants. It says
people who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon can bring it
into a place that has a liquor license that also -- quote --
offers for sale food for on-site consumption prepared in a
kitchen located on the premises. Lobbyist Don Isaacson who
represents the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association said that's
a problem.

(In all seriousness, there is not a definition of that. There
can't be a definition of that becuase it's everything from a
microwave, a plate, a sink, and a frozen pizza as a kitchen. Or
Phoenician has a kitchen. And it's everything in between.)

Todd Rathner, a board member of the National Rifle Association,
conceded the point. He said what constitutes a kitchen might have
to be litigated if the bill becomes law.